Germany invests €5.44 mln in barbastelle conservation

Nationwide project for bat protection in the forest started in Germany on 13th of May, 2019. 

Barbastellles by Markus Dietz
Roosting barbastelles © Markus Dietz
Within the framework of the project, forests in Thuringia, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony and in areas of the National Natural Heritage will be managed more naturally, old trees will be protected and unmanaged core areas created. The project has a total cost of €5.44 million, the share of 4.3 million is provided by the Federal Ministry for the Environment within the framework of the Federal Biological Diversity Programme. The federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony and Thuringia, the German Wildlife Foundation and the Bavarian Nature Conservation Fund are also participating in the financing of the project. 
The project will be superwised by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.  
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said: "We are experiencing a dramatic global increase in degradation of natural habitats and the associated loss of countless species. The population of the barbastelle bat is already severely endangered.  The reason for this situation is that  old structurally rich forests with a lot of deadwood, which the species depends on, are becoming more and more rare. This is where the project may help.  It will benefit barbastelles and many other species related to old and semi-natural woodland."
Prof. Beate Jessel, President of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN): "Sustainable forest management is crucial for the effective protection of the highly endangered barbastelle bat, it results in sufficient number of roosts and ensures that insect food is available. This is why the close cooperation between the Federal Government and the Federal States , forest industry and associations plays an outstanding and exemplary role in this project. Only through joint efforts can we succeed in conservation of batbastelles and their habitats".
A major focus of the project is on close cooperation with public and private forest owners and managers as well as other local stakeholders  for joint development and implementation of requered conservation measures. The obtained experience and knowledge will then be put into practice via various training courses.  Another goal is comprehensive public relations campaign to attract actors from the forestry sector and raise the profile of barbastelles.
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Markus Melber (FLEDERMAUS Foundation) with a symbolic bill ©Thomas Müller
More information in German available at 




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